Manual configuration of Oracle RAC user equivalence (SSH key-based authentication) on Centos 6

I am continuing my research into the requirements for installing and configuring Oracle RAC. One of the requirements is that each RAC node needs the ability to login to other nodes without providing a password. The Oracle community refers to this as SSH user equivalence, but it is also referred to as SSH key based authentication. SSH will use public/private key authentication between the nodes instead of passwords. This configuration is useful for scripts and programs that must communicate between the RAC nodes since they do not need to be configured to use a password. Continue reading

Creating Shared Disks in VMware ESXi 5.1

This article details how to create a set of disks that can be shared between 2 VMware guest servers.  I discovered this process while researching how to install an Oracle RAC database.  This is a clustered database that requires shared storage among all of the servers in the cluster.  There are many ways to created shared storage, depending on the type of servers and whether virtualization is being used.  In a related article I have previously documented how to use VMware VSAN to create a shared storage solution under ESXi 5.5.

This article assumes that you already have 2 guest servers created.  Here I will be using Centos Linux 6.  You will also need to have the vSphere client (VCLI) installed on a Windows workstation that can be used to access the ESXi server directly.  VCLI can be downloaded from the VMware site. Continue reading

Updates to the process for adding PIP to Python 2.6 under Centos 6.2

The main reason that I document the detailed processes for performing system administration tasks in this site is for me.  I know that others enjoy reading these processes and also find them helpful, but my primary target audience is myself.  Normally I forget the steps that I perform fairly quickly after I complete a task.  Over the years I have found it most helpful to document the steps on the web since I can easily find them and repeat the process whenever needed, wherever I happen to be.

Recently, I had the opportunity to refer back to one of my articles I had written a few months before on how to install the python-pip package for Python 2.6 running under Centos 6.  I was planning on using the Boto API to create and modify infrastructure in AWS.  Unfortunately, I had repurposed the original server that had Boto installed.  I needed to use Pip to add Boto to a new Centos 6 server, and of course this required that I install Pip first.  Since I had written the process so recently, I was very surprised when I ran into errors when trying to use it just a few months later. Continue reading

Configuring Python to Access AWS using the BOTO API

In this article I will describe the step by step process for installing the Boto API under Python 2.6 that I used on my Centos 6.3 server.  Boto can be used to create and manage AWS infrastructure from a Python program or script.  Once I have installed and configured Python access using the API, I will demonstrate a “hello world” type script for starting existing server instances and also for shutting down those instances. Continue reading

Adding pip to Python 2.6

This is a very short article on how to install pip under Python 2.6.  I am doing this so that I can load the Amazon Web Services Python API called Boto.  However, since this looks like a procedure I may need to repeat in the future, I decided to make it a separate article so that I will be able to find it and refer to it easier when I need it. Continue reading

Installation and configuration of VMware Virtual SAN

In this article I will describe the process that I used to connect 3 ESXi hosts to shared storage using VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN).  Virtual SAN is included with ESXi 5.5 and allows unallocated disk space on each host to become part of a shared storage array.  At least 3 hosts are required in the storage cluster which may be shared with up to 32 nodes.  Each host must have both SSD and non SSD storage available.

I am going to create 3 ESXi hosts, each with 4GB of SSD and 20GB of non SSD storage.  Each host will have a primary NIC used for the management network and a second NIC used for the VSAN network.  The 2nd NIC of each host will connected to a VMware distributed switch.  These 3 nodes will then be clustered in vCenter with VSAN enabled. Continue reading

Configuring access to the vSphere 5.5 Web Client

There are currently 2 clients available for managing vSphere, the legacy vSphere Desktop Client and the newer vSphere Web Client.  The web client was released as part of ESXi 5.1 and is the strategic direction for VMware.  As a result, the newer features of ESXi 5.5 are available in the web client, but not in the desktop client.  With 5.5, the web client offers a powerful management solution.  This article will describe the step by step process for accessing the client from your browser and configuring it for use.

You must have vCenter installed in order to use the web client.  To login to the web client, first point your browser to the IP address of the vCenter server using HTTPS and no port specified.  This will bring up a getting started screen which will have a link for logging into the web client. Continue reading

Installing vCenter Server Appliance 5.5

In this article I am going to present the step by step process for installing the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) version 5.5.  With ESXi 5.5, VCSA has become a production ready platform and for many use cases it is a preferred solution to installing vCenter Server under Windows.  VCSA is deployed as an OVF template and requires an ESXi host for installation.  In this article, I will be using an ESXi 5.1 host for the installation.

After the OVF template has been downloaded, use the vSphere client on the existing ESXi host to deploy it. Continue reading

Installing 64 Bit Centos Linux 6.3 as a VMware Guest under ESXi 5.5

This article captures the step by step process I followed for installing the 64 bit version of Centos Linux 6.3 as VMware guest under ESXi 5.5.  In order to follow this process, it will be necessary to first install VMWare ESXi 5.5 host software and then install and configure the vSphere 5.5 client software.  Please refer to the previous articles that I have written describing the step by step processes needed to perform both of those tasks. Continue reading